Here at Fat Rose we stand unequivocally with the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom. We sit with heavy grief, for the genocide happening in Gaza and the West Bank right now, and for the unthinkable death, dispossession and terror Palestinians have faced for the past 75+ years. We are witnessing the catastrophic realities of colonialism, imperialism, and white supremacy in real time.
We are an organization standing in the lineage of our movement ancestors, many of whom were fat, Jewish, lesbians who from the beginning, declared the fat liberation struggle as inherently intertwined with the fight against imperialism. Today as Jews and non-Jews alike, we want to make it clear: the struggle for fat liberation is the same struggle for Palestinian liberation, just as it is the same struggle for Black, Indigenous, Jewish, queer/trans, disabled, liberation and so on. Not just because of the abstract (true) notion that all of our liberations are intertwined, but because despite the fog of cultural myth-making, the systems that oppress us have clear, traceable origin stories.
To be clear: Anti-fatness and Zionism both exist because they serve the interests of imperial western powers: to subjugate, to extract, to surveil, and control.
Anti-fatness was invented as an arm of white supremacist, capitalist empire; a sham logic made up a couple hundred years ago by British and French “scientists” who used Protestant ideas of discipline/sin/gluttony to justify their claims of inherent, biological superiority over the Black people they enslaved. As fat people, we have spent our entire lives being taught our bodies are inherently unhealthy, biologically undesirable, and morally wrong. As fat liberationists, we know how hard it is to undo all the ways we, and everyone around us, have been programmed to believe that the sham logic of white supremacy is innate, natural, biological truth.
Similarly, in the west, most of us have been indoctrinated into so many ideas about what is “natural” and “innate” truth about Israel/Palestine. We are told it is a centuries old, unexplainably complicated, holy war. That Israel was created in penance for the Holocaust and that it is anti-Semitic to criticize it (even if you yourself are Jewish). For many Jews (and also for some Christians) we are often taught our religious and cultural identities are inherently bound in an allegiance to the state. That it is the only place in the world Jews are safe — Jewish survival depends on it. How dare anyone claim it is colonialism, the land belongs to us.
Despite all our indoctrination, when we read straight from the source, the sham logics will always betray themselves. They betray themselves in the treaties British Christians were writing in the 1600s, which declared all Jews should leave Europe for Palestine (to basically no Jewish interest), a century and a half before what is considered the birth of the modern Zionist movement. They betray themselves in the letters of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism, who campaigned imperialist powers around the globe, arguing they should care about his cause “because it is something colonial.” When we watch Joe Biden’s speeches, and he states as he has repeatedly for the last 40 years, that “were there no Israel, the US would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.” When the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy issue a joint statement of unconditional support and Netanyahu declares that when Israel wins “the entire civilized world wins.” The imperialist powers will tell you themselves: the state of Israel exists because we want it to, because it allows us to subjugate, extract, surveil and control.
And likewise, these countries are using the same tools they always have: turn colonized people into inhuman monsters, instill fear of them & silence any opposition, justify apartheid, violence, and mass death. It’s been the exact same justification for hundreds of years against innumerable racialized targets: they’re animals, savages, criminals, hyper sexual, hyper aggressive, the cause of our suffering, inherently & biologically inferior. As fat people, we know the feeling of being blamed for our own deaths, and we recognize this as the same tactic which incessantly victim blames Palestinians. We recognize it in the way our mainstream media, politicians, and people we know in real life have continued to fall for and perpetuate these narratives, to be arms of empire. In every post which calls for Palestinians to stop resisting, in every false equivalency, and in every performance of asymmetrical grief which sees Palestinian life as disposable.
We are here to say, regardless of what crumbs of power these systems decide to give some of us today, regardless of who they tell you is your enemy or who you deserve control over, we know serving colonialism, capitalism & white supremacy will only ever bring us more unthinkable horror, suffering and death. History shows us again and again: the root of our collective suffering is the same. When we call for an end to Israel’s occupation, we are recognizing every human’s right to a sovereign life free from subjugation, surveillance, and control.
As fat liberationists, we know it is hard to unlearn what you’ve been taught is natural, unbreakable truth. We know how much of an uphill battle it can be to deprogram the propaganda out of our friends and families and neighbors, especially when systems are working overtime to maintain the status quo (and TRUST they are in overdrive right now). AND that makes it all the more important that no matter how hard it is to see a clear path forward, we must refuse the imperative that complacency is our only option.
In this time of emergency, in this sea of catastrophic grief, we must act with urgency, and bravery, with clarity and with unwavering care. We must move in fervent belief that colonialism and genocide are not innate human nature, divine right or inevitable outcome. We must act with the confident knowledge that another world, a world free of colonialism, a world with a free and thriving Palestine, is for real possible; it has happened before and it will happen again. As Palestinian-American author Nadia Shammas put it on Twitter this week:
“It’s not just about condemnation (which is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT) for non-Palestinian allies but I want hope from y’all too. I want belief, unshakeable, that the subjugation will end, the apartheid will end, it is inevitable.”
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free 🇵🇸
HOW CAN I HELP?
- Put pressure on your representatives:
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Palestine & Israel:
- Curriculum on how the movement for a free Palestine is connected to struggles Black, Indigenous, Queer, Feminist, Reproductive liberation struggles and more
Origins and Invention of Anti-Fatness:
- Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings (source for origin of fatphobia outlined in this statement)
- Killer Fat, Media, Medicine and Morals in the American “Obesity Epidemic” by Natalie Boero (specifically if you want to learn about anti-fatness in the context of 9/11 terrorism/militarism panic)
References for Examples Mentioned:
And additionally: https://youtu.be/86Nrv5izaTs?si=s6UfzYubQoDlWCKP